Driving in Queensland on an interstate or overseas licence
Due to COVID-19, new Queensland residents have more time to obtain a Queensland driver licence.
If you have taken up residence in Queensland and are driving on a valid interstate or overseas driver licence, you won't be required to obtain a Queensland driver licence during the COVID-19 emergency period. This reflects the difficulty licence holders may experience in transferring their licence during the emergency, particularly if a practical driving test is required.
While you can continue to drive on your interstate or overseas licence you must ensure that:
- your licence is valid
- you only drive the class of motor vehicle authorised on your licence
- you comply with licence conditions (if any)
- you show your licence to a police officer when asked to do so
- you follow all health guidelines about avoiding non-essential travel and staying at home as much as possible.
Your authority to drive on a Queensland road on your interstate or overseas licence can still be withdrawn for the other reasons. It is also withdrawn once you obtain a Queensland driver licence, including a Queensland learner licence.
If you’re visiting Queensland from another country, you can drive if you have a valid overseas licence.
If you’re visiting Queensland from another Australian state or territory, you can drive if you have a valid interstate licence.
You can't drive in Queensland with your interstate or overseas licence if you’ve been issued with a Queensland licence.
Obligations for driving in Queensland
When driving in Queensland on your valid interstate or overseas licence, you must:
- drive only the class of motor vehicle authorised on that licence
- comply with your licence conditions (if any)
- show your licence to a police officer when asked to do so.
If you’re driving in Queensland on an overseas car licence, you may drive vehicles allowed under a Queensland class C licence. This includes vehicles up to 4.5 tonne gross vehicle mass that may carry up to 12 people, including the driver.
If you get too many demerit points, we’ll send you a notice telling you that your authority to drive in Queensland will be withdrawn (suspended).
The length of your suspension will depend on the type of licence you held when you committed the demerit point offences.
When you can’t drive in Queensland
As well as the suspension mentioned previously, you can’t drive in Queensland if:
- an Australian court has disqualified you from holding or getting a driver licence
- your authority to drive in Queensland has been suspended because you
- haven’t paid fines issued to you
- have been convicted of driving at more than 40km/hr over the speed limit
- your authority to drive in Queensland on your overseas licence has been withdrawn because you
- are medically unfit to drive safely
- are an Australian citizen and you’ve been living in Queensland for 3 months
- are not an Australian citizen, but you were given a resident visa before you starting living in Queensland and you’ve now been living in Queensland for 3 months
- are not an Australian citizen, but you were given a resident visa after you started living in Queensland and you’ve now been living in Queensland for 3 months since getting the visa
- have failed a practical driving test in Queensland.
A resident visa is a permanent visa or special category visa under the Migration Act 1958 (Commonwealth). These visas allow a person to stay indefinitely in Australia. These don’t include temporary, business or guardian visas.
Learn the Queensland road rules
If you’re driving on your overseas licence, make sure you understand the Queensland road rules.
Read more about driving safely in Queensland.
Getting stopped by police
If you’re stopped by police when you’re driving, you need to give your name and address, and show your driver licence. You may also need to take a roadside alcohol breath test or drug saliva test.
If your licence isn’t in English, you should carry a recognised English translation of it when you’re driving. Show this translation to police when you have to show your driver licence.
The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) has a list of approved translators.